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Fallout 4 - gamescom Preview

Fallout 4 - gamescom Preview

When thinking about my favourite games of the past 10 years, Fallout 3 sits firmly near the top of the list. I’ve easily put over 300 hours into that game, scouring the wasteland, meeting memorable companions and surviving in the harsh post-apocalyptic world. Fallout: New Vegas didn’t quite capture me. While it improved upon many aspects of Fallout 3, the map wasn’t as interesting and notable bugs and glitches hindered my progress.

Needless to say the anticipation for Fallout 4 is big. As what could arguably be the biggest launch of the year, Fallout 4 is agonisingly close to release. At this year’s gamescom I got the chance to see an extended gameplay demo, and my excitement has only been furthered from what I saw.

fallout 4 Screenshot 1

The demo began with a video showing off the new perks system and the depth and scale of it. S.P.E.C.I.A.L, as we all know it, will be instantly familiar to fans of the series and it acts in the same way it has done in previous titles. The difference now is how much it can affect the progression of your character. There are still 7 specials, but there are now 70 base perks providing multiple ranks and offering 275 perks in total. The varying degrees of these perks means that you can approach gameplay in a significant number of ways.

Once the perks system had been shown the gameplay demo started. The mission was based in the town of Lexington, and required the player to rid the place of ghouls and raiders who had set up operations there. Whilst the game won’t win any awards for graphics, the new art style does wonders for the aesthetic. Colours are bright and the brown and grey palette of the last two games are long gone. Combat was quickly initiated with ghouls appearing from windows and scaling building walls to get to the ground. The enemy animations looked fantastic and added to the creepy vibe that ghouls have. At one point later on in the demo they started crawling through windows from outside, a nice little touch that means empty room may not always be safe.

fallout 4 raide

Shooting plays out like you’d expect it to, but it ran smoothly and seemed more intense than combat in past instalments. VATS was shown marking shots to vital body parts, crippling or maiming enemies. You can’t rely on it so much now though as time is slowed instead of paused when using it, meaning you only have limited time to set up your shots. A number of weapons were shown from plasma rifles, shotguns and even melee weapons. Unfortunately melee attacks still don’t appear impactful, and hits don’t connect as you’d expect them to. Saying that, seeing a gruesome finisher after using VATS still elicits a feeling of shock and awe and I don’t see it getting old soon.

The rest of the mission featured an assault on the raiders in a factory, which led to a highly explosive battle at the end. Hacking was featured within the mission and it doesn’t appear to have changed, which is fine considering how much fun the system is. A small change to collecting loot has been made which smooths over the process. Instead of opening up a separate menu to collect loot, available items now show above corpses, or containers.

Fallout 4 Screenshot 2

After exiting the factory the biggest set piece of the mission was shown. Raiders were holed up throughout a square, positioned on a bridge that ran parallel between two buildings. The fight was tough, with snipers perched on the bridge gunshots rained down taking health off rapidly. A saving grace was provided though when a Brotherhood of Steel gunship flew down and took shots at the raiders. That was until it was brought down, and span out into the side of a building, exploding in a haze of fire and metal.The demo ended with the inclusion of the Fat Man, a Mutant Behemoth and a resulting explosion against the monster.

There were no major changes apparent for Fallout 4 at gamescom this year. I’m not worried though, as we know from the earlier impressions of the game that it features a lot more than other instalments. Settlements, weapon and armour customisation and mods, are just some of the new things that will be included, and considering the breadth and scope of past games, Fallout 4 will feature plenty for players to dig into.

Fallout 4 will release on 10 November for PS4, Xbox One and PC.


Reece Armstrong

Reece Armstrong

Senior Staff Writer

Just a musician and geek all rolled into one who spends his days watching sandcastles melt into the sea

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